Sidhwani Goes to Hollywood?

Updated Bollywood Marketing

It used to be that when Indian filmmakers wanted to promote one of their new movies, they would just get a “giant, hand-painted poster, a television or cinema trailer and the pulling power of a star actor.” These days much more is needed. And Ritesh Sidhwani, producer of the upcoming movie “Hrithik Roshan film Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara” (You Only Live Once), is not about to be left behind.

RS Phones Home

Some years ago it was ET phoning home. Now Ritesh Sidhwani is using a similar technique, but not in his movie; rather as a way of promoting it. Mobile phones are the new way of marketing movies and that is what Sidhwani is trying to do. This move is being implemented through a joint collaboration between Aircel (a leading mobile phone company in India) and Excel Entertainment film studio. The venture will result in two three-minute trailers which will be sent (for free) to the phone company’s 55 million subscribers. Since India is anyway the “world’s fastest-growing cellular market and the second largest after China,” (boasting 752.2m mobile phone subscribers at the end of 2010) this new marketing method seems like a slam dunk.

Sidhwani is already extremely hopeful that this new method will yield excellent results. He claims that by utilizing this technology he has been better able to engage in “more targeted marketing for films.” This is very helpful in today’s ever-increasingly competitive environment when there are so many diverse types of entertainment battling for their share of the market, which has decreased by 20 percent over the last three years. Sidhwani claimed that it is bound to work great since “mobile reach is much wider,” with everyone (especially the younger crowd) anyway watching Internet promos. There has been an increase of 22.6% year-on-year of Internet subscribers, with 10.99m having access to a broadband connection (an increase of 40% from 2010). It is predicted that a staggering 82% of India will be mobile-phone-clad in just three years’ time.

Bollywood “Likes” Facebook

As well as the mobile phone industry, it seems Bollywood is taking it all a step further. The movie is set to have a Facebook page. Clearly the industry is headed in “movie marketing to the next level.” It is honing in on where people are going in 2011 and responding extremely well to it. That has to be good for Bollywood business.

James Cannon

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com